The Importance of Designing and Building Secure and Reliable Cannabis Facilities, with Scalable and Repeatable Processes; a Sit Down with:compli

Photo of Adam Wills and Allen Wilsl; Credit: Compli 

compli is the new leader in cutting-edge technology support for businesses in highly disruptive and tightly regulated sectors, focusing on the cannabis industry.

compli brings a wealth of expertise and a fresh perspective to the forefront of technology support services in the cannabis industry. Founded by visionaries, twin brothers, and the founders of Tecvine: Adam Wills and Allen Wills, is driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to excellence.

To learn more about the importance of trusted IT solutions in the highly regulated industry, the Traveling Cannabis Writer Media team, sat with Allen Wills. We got into: the need for compliance solutions, the importance of designing and building secure and reliable cannabis facilities, having a good mix of internet connectivity, secure and reliable internet access, physical security measures, and network infrastructure.

compli takes pride in its cannabis-forward approach in an industry that demands: precision, compliance, and adaptability. With close to 70 site builds and collaborations with some of the largest cannabis companies in the United States, they want the industry to know they are passionate about supporting cannabis businesses at every stage of their growth.  

Q & A with compli Co-Founder Allen Wills

Photo Credit: compli

A little insight into Allen and Adam before compli:

  • Allen and his twin brother, Adam, got into the IT industry before cannabis; with Adam working for ATT, and Allen working for MCI in Phoenix.
  • Adam left corporate America to join a startup, and later had a 12-year career at a communications company in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • The brothers started Tech Vine in 2010 and hit Inc 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S in 2020.
  • The family has been operating in the vertical cannabis space for 5-6 years, and they formed Comply in October 2022 to focus on highly regulated industries.

Allen, please tell us the mission that compli is on within the cannabis industry.

“We are on a mission to provide tailored, cutting-edge solutions that help our clients not only comply with regulations but also excel in their respective markets.” 

Please tell us about the services/ solutions compli offers.

“We offer:

  • Design and build: focused on floor plans/infrastructure
  • Physical Security: focused on asset protection
  • Low Voltage Cabling: focused on cabling infrastructure
  • Internet: focused on internet solutions: fiber, broadband, cellular, fixed, satellite 
  • Network and Voice: firewalls, switchgear, access points, phones
  • Project Management: focused on overseeing planning, implementation, and reporting.”

What kinds of businesses within the industry are benefiting the most from partnering with compli?

“I’ll tell you a story about this. So we opted in on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. There was a very profitable dispensary that put that facility on a plot of cornfield out in the middle of nowhere. 

There was no internet for that location for six months, even mobile. We we figured out a solution to keep them up and operational for six months by getting a little nerdy, but using a couple of Velo cloud devices coupled with 6 to 8 cradle point devices, to give them 50 megs over wireless from Verizon and ATT to literally keep the dispensary up and open for their first 6 months.  

We have a lot of traction with large cultivators and craft growers, and then from there we can service all the way through the entire supply chain; manufacturing/infusions like beverages, and gummies. We help with floor plans and education, overall guidance.” 

Photo Credit: compli

A review on the compli website says: “they’ve provided top notch equipment and services ensuring that we avoid costly mistakes that other operators make”; what’s an example of a costly mistake made by operators?

“A lot of the cannabis industry assumes that you can just call up ATT and order an internet circuit. It doesn’t work like that. It has to be a targeted process where you go out looking for all the different options from an internet perspective at the address you’re looking to go into, and then making sure you have the right redundant mix of internet connectivity. You have to have the right mix to keep all end devices. 

Something else: security. For example, cannabis is different from owning a restaurant, right? If you have half of your cameras down at a restaurant, nobody’s going to be calling you. The state’s not going to be calling you and asking what’s going on. 

In cannabis, the state is making these calls and asking why 50% of the camera’s are offline and telling operators to get those fixed or shut your doors. This is why a good mix of internet connectivity is crucial to keeping these devices operational and online so that the doors can stay open and they can sell products.”

Will the industry find you all traveling in 2024? 

“Yes, we will be visiting Ohio, New Jersey, and Nevada” 

Most businesses have a what (the product/service), that is born from a why. What is compli’s why?

“To be the trusted IT solutions provider for highly regulated industries. To be a solution for compliance and security. To provide top tier technology support that empower businesses and keep their doors open.”

In Closing

Photo Credit: compli/LinkedIn 

We asked Allen to give us the 101 explanation of who compli and services offered would be great for. He responded:

“Let’s say you win a license. You probably have a floor plan and may have picked out an address where you’re going to put your facility. The problem is we’re seeing people from the restaurant from retail industries coming in saying, ‘hey, we’re gonna do it like a restaurant.’

Things in cannabis don’t work that way. We’ve worked with small to large in square footage dispensaries and cultivations. We start with their plans. Are they looking to build a small dispensary in their home state with no plans for growth or scale? That’s and that’s perfectly fine; a business like that can still utilize our services. 

The businesses that need our services the most are the ones that, let’s say, have four or five licenses in California and New Mexico or somewhere  out west, and are trying to get into the states with higher compliance rules like Illinois, Ohio, and New Jersey.  Are they looking to scale into these other states, do they have a scalable and repeatable process? It could be as simple as: do you understand how many switches and access points you’re going to need at a 150,000 square foot facility? 

It’s great if you procure those from somebody but, who’s going to manage it day two, and then day 2000? And that’s where I think we’re doing a great job. Coming in and giving operators options. They don’t have to go in and copy the services the big MSO providers are using because they’re flush with more cash than others. 

There are so many options out there for equipment for these facilities. It just needs to be a managed offering. A managed offering from a group that understands the scale understands the state rules, the rules from state to state, and all those things.”

Learn more about compli, their services, and their solutions with a visit to their website.

Photo Credit: Compli

Big Thank You to cannabis industry sponsor: LOCKGREEN. Their support helps these important stories get published. 

LOCKGREEN is a Black-owned, Virginia-based company that gives cannabis consumers across the country peace of mind when safely storing and traveling in a car with their stash. LOCKGREEN stash boxes are smell-proof and have a built-in combination lock to keep kids, pets and unwanted guests out and help to prevent open container law violations when traveling in a car with cannabis.

Veronica Castillo is known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. She was a nomadic writer on the road covering all things cannabis/ hemp/ and overall plant medicines and recently came back home to Florida, making it her homebase once again. Her body of work can be found in multiple industry publications both digital and print where she provides cannabis industry and community insights from her 5 year journey around the country. She is a collaborator, connector, always seeking to bring to light the hidden gems in the plant space. You can follow her journey on Instagram: @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and/or LinkedIn: @Traveling Cannabis Writer.

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